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August 30, 2012
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Retired Ky. chief slain in revenge killing

Suspect charged in the murder of a retired police chief in a drive-by shooting had been arrested by him several times

By PoliceOne Staff

TOMPKINSVILLE, Ky. — A retired police chief was killed in a drive-by shooting outside his home in what is being described as a revenge killing.

Herbert Proffitt, formerly of the Tompkinsville Police Department, was walking in his driveway on the way to the mailbox Tuesday when the suspect drove by and fired shots, killing him. According to, accused killer Charles Hammer was arrested by the chief several times over the past four decades and finally booked into Kentucky State Penitentiary in the 1980s.

"[Officers] deal with a segment of society, some of which are pretty bad," City Attorney Reed Moore told the station. "Sometimes you make those bad people pretty mad."

Hammer fled and was arrested later Tuesday, The Officer Down Memorial Page reports. He is currently in jail and has been charged with murder.

Proffitt served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served in law enforcement for 55 years before retiring in 2009. He had been shot in the line of duty once before.

"He's a good friend to everybody," Moore said. "He was a really compassionate man. If he had to arrest you, he treated you with dignity and respect."

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